Indian men’s football team head coach Igor Stimac named 6 newcomers as he announced India’s final list of 23 for the King’s Cup slated to kick-off in Buriram, Thailand from June 5.
The six newcomers include Rahul Bheke, Brandon Fernandes, Raynier Fernandes, Michael Soosairaj, Abdul Sahal, and India U-17 World Cup team captain Amarjit Singh. Other than that, Adil Khan and goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh have made a comeback to the squad. Adil has been picked up after 2012, while the goalkeeper is yet to make his International debut.
Before leaving for Thailand, Igor Stimac said, “We accomplished our work in Delhi, and I would like to use this opportunity to appreciate everyone’s involvement in helping us in doing so. I need to thank AIFF, the players, the media, the hotel authorities, and obviously the Sports Authority for providing us with great training facilities.” The footballers will have an overnight stay in Bangkok before flying to Buriram on Monday morning.
Meanwhile, central defender and one of the leading players Sandesh Jhingan talked about the players and said all of them are pumped up and are raring to take on the field. He also reiterated how the players enjoyed the first camp under the new coach which began in New Delhi on May 21. “The coach has brought in his new system. We are playing more with the ball now, more of an attacking side of Football. With the success we have had before, players are motivated. They believe they can do more. Everyone is hungry for more success,” Jhingan explained.
Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu stressed on the “hard-core professionalism” brought into the team by the new coach. “It’s very important for a coach to be honest, and he is very straightforward. Most significantly, he provides all the proper reasoning of what he is trying to do, the purpose behind everything which is being done.
Midfielder Pronoy Halder, on the other hand talked about the improvements he has experienced under Stimoc. “He has been guiding me on, and off the ball, explaining my positioning as per match situations. He is a great motivator, and is himself highly motivated. He mentions that we can bridge the gap with higher nations, but we need to work hard on that,” Halder stated. He also narrated the sense of awe that prevails in the dressing room since the new coach has arrived. “At times we imagine the names he has coached – Mordic, Perisic, Kovacic, amongst others. It is up for us to grab as much as we can,” he narrated.
The final list of 23 for the King’s Cup is as follows:
GOALKEEPERS: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Kamaljit Singh.
DEFENDERS: Pritam Kotal, Rahul Bheke, Sandesh Jhingan, Adil Khan, Subhasish Bose.
MIDFIELDERS: Udanta Singh, Jackichand Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Anirudh Thapa, Raynier Fernandes, Pronay Halder, Vinit Rai, Sahal Abdul, Amarjit Singh, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Michael Soosairaj.
FORWARDS: Balwant Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Farukh Choudhary, Manvir Singh.
HEAD COACH: Igor Stimac.